God, I love limitations. Without limitations, where would be our challenges and heroic struggles? Without limitations, how would we know when we've exceeded them?
As writers, we all deal with limitations on a daily basis. Most obviously, we do battle with the limitations of language. There are just so many ways in which a person, place, thing, or action can be described, and we are burdened not only by a finite number of words but by a finite number of organizational possibilities, and that's if we toss aside some of the more constraining rules of grammar. However, with every word we invent or rule we break, we run the risk of alienating our audience or at the very least baffling them to indifference. There is a reason why James Patterson sells better than James Joyce. I happen to prefer James Joyce, but that's only because I enjoy literature that forces me to think and analyze and question my preconceptions about everything from basic human expression to the identity of God. James Patterson's novels don't encourage anything other than the turning of pages, and that's fine, but I'm greedy. I want more.
As to the limitations I deal with as a writer which are of a more personal nature, well...
I can't type correctly. I mean, I type correctly, insomuch as I know where the keys are without looking at them and all that, but I only use my index fingers and my thumbs. I'm self-taught. That said, for someone who types incorrectly, I do tend to be both speedy and accurate (and apparently very loud). But I've been typing like this since I was, like, six years-old, so this old bad habit isn't going anywhere. And the funny thing is this: when I actually try to concentrate on my typing, it becomes plodding and messy. Physical activity is very much not my forte, and I only excel at physical activities which require little to no thought.
Um, interpret that however you wish.
Another limitation I have as a writer is my absolute inability to listen to songs when I write. I know many writers who love to crank up some tunes to get them cooking at the keyboard, and I wish I were one of those writers because I am a huge fan of music, but I am also hugely distractable, and if a song is on, I want to roll around in the lyrics and it's really difficult to meet a deadline whilst rolling around. I am slightly more successful with wordless music, such as concertos and film scores, but only slightly, as the harmonies and crescendos of a great piece of music simply demand one's attention. Music is divine and I'm only human.
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Nuclear Winter Wonderland from either Amazon or B&N and email me a proof of purchase and be registered to win a $50 gift certificate to the bookstore of your choice!
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